Statement issued by Thandi Nontenja – UDEMWO Secretary General

The United Democratic Movement Women’s Organisation is shocked about reports of a viral video, where a principal and two teachers are gang raping a school girl in KwaZulu-Natal.

This act is too insane and disgusting to even contemplate. Parents send their children to school in the hope that, while learning, they are safe. But, these depraved individuals proved us wrong. Even the head of the school, who is supposed to lead by good example, appears to be involved.

Not long ago a video was circulated on social media of a teenage girl being assaulted by a male student. No wonder we witness such behaviour from the young men; they think it is a “good thing” because they learnt it from their elders. What kind of generation are we raising?

It is also immoral and disturbing that some person/s actually recorded the crime and did not even help the girl! To say we are disappointed is an understatement, we are totally shaken.

What is going on in our schools? It’s no longer just a case of plain ill-discipline of teachers and/or learners. Sex and violence have invaded our places of learning. Our children, especially girls, are under siege and the authorities must act speedily and definitively to protect them.

The Department of Education must take action against teachers who abuse their positions of trust; but suspension of immoral individuals is not enough. Justice must take its course and any teacher found to have violated the trust of our children, in any form, must be given the harshest punishment described in law. Such punishment would be a lesson to any educator who sinks so low.

We call on any witnesses to come forward so that the police can quickly establish the identities of the people involved, not only for the sake of arresting the culprits, but also so that this poor child may be counselled for the trauma she has suffered.